The conference is an annual collaboration between CoastWatch (the volunteer program of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition) and the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME). This time around, “Sharing the Coast” will take place in both Bandon (Friday evening and Saturday) and Charleston (Sunday), with field trips elsewhere.
The conference will kick off Friday evening when Al Solomon speaks on “Weather Extremes and Climate Change: The Essential Linkage.” Solomon, now a Charleston resident, recently retired from a career spent studying global ecological change with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other institutions. He received training in developing this talk from Al Gore’s Climate Reality group. Al Solomon will speak at 7 p.m. at The Barn, Bandon’s community conference center (1200 11th St., S.W.).
The Barn will also be the site of Saturday’s events. These will include presentations by Cynthia Trowbridge on natural materials found in the driftline; Al Dohner (a retired doctor who created his talk for Physicians for Social Responsibility) on marine debris and its impact on the oceans; Rob Suryan of the Hatfield Marine Science Center on Oregon’s seabird populations and how climate change is affecting them; and Jessica Miller, also of the HMSC, who studies invasive species and will discuss how tsunami debris may be carrying them across the Pacific. Miller will also lead a workshop in the afternoon for those interested in participating in a project to keep watch for invasives.
Saturday afternoon will feature workshops and field trips, including one to Port Orford to observe CoastWatching and marine debris monitoring in action, and another to the Washed Ashore headquarters south of Bandon, where marine debris is turned into art. A third workshop will be devoted to teaching marine and shoreline science. Saturday will wind up with a reception beginning at 5 p.m. back at the Barn, featuring both a short talk by Bill Hanshumaker, Oregon Sea Grant Chief Scientist, and a coast-oriented “trivia” contest.
On Sunday, March 17, the conference will move to the Boat House Auditorium at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in Charleston. Presentations planned for that morning will cover the oceanography of Oregon’s nearshore ocean, coastal geology, and estuarine ecology. Field trips Sunday afternoon will focus on the sandy shore and dunes, and on the geology of our dynamic shoreline.